Here’s something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give my thoughts on a book that I haven’t read yet. It’s a book that was recommended to me very highly though, and it looks like something I’ll eat up.
Okay, so why do I think I’ll absolutely love Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain?
Because I, Merry Farmer, am a closet introvert.
Yes, it’s true. I may love talking and I especially love blogging and posting on Facebook and talking to everyone from here and yon on social media, but honestly, most of the time if you run into me face-to-face, I will clam up like a wallflower at a ball. In fact, I felt ridiculous at the RWA conference in Atlanta this past summer because every time I met someone who I have chatted with profusely online, I couldn’t think of a thing to say. And did I go looking for people to hang out with after hours? No! I went back to my hotel room—in a different hotel from the conference, mind you—and read.
And this is exactly why Quiet came highly recommended to me. Because apparently it deals with the topic of introverts and social media. From what the person who had read the book was telling me, social media and the ability to communicate with people from the comfort of our own home is what is going to enable introverts to take over the world!
You know what? I can believe it! As a closet introvert, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than having to get out there, shake hands and kiss babies. I have never felt easy in crowds, especially if I had to dive into them to, oh, promote a book, for example. I think I could handle a book signing, because there would be a lovely table between me and the room. For that same reason I have no problem teaching classes. But schmoozing? No.
Now, some of you who know me and have been around me when we’re in crowds at conferences and things are probably saying “Psht! Come on! I’ve seen you chat for an hour with a random person!” Ah, yes, but the key there is singular: person. Or small number of people. It’s the big meet-and-greet that skeeves me out.
You too? Does this sound familiar? Crowds and loud places and parties are not your idea of a good time, but small get-togethers and private conversations sound awesome? Yep, you might be an introvert. Fortunately, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I love the way that the Meyers-Briggs personality test describes it. The first letter of your four-letter personality type is either I or E for introvert or extrovert. This doesn’t mean that you are either a hermit or a whore though. What it indicates is how you recharge your battery, what refreshes and rejuvenates you. My sister-in-law is an E. She starts to go crazy if she hasn’t been out to see friends for a while or gone to a big social gathering.
Me? If I go out after dark two nights in a row, by the third day I want to crawl into a hole and shake my fist at the world. I need my me time. And nothing is so attractive to me as a big, warm bed and 10 hours to stay in it. But as I mentioned, I really love blogging and posting to Facebook and generally having a grand old virtual time.
As it was explained to me, this book, Quiet, is for people like me. People like us. It’s about how modern technology has opened up the world for us. Frankly, I’m eager to read all about it. I do think we’re in a whole new world. The paradigm has definitely shifted. Fortune favors the brave, but now you can be brave without being outgoing. You can take on the world from your living room. It’s awesome!
This is exactly the world for me. Not only does my Meyers-Briggs personality type say so (I’m an INFJ), my star chart says so too. Yes, astrology. I am a Cancer sun with a Leo moon and Aquarius rising. My rising Aquarius means I want to go out and take on the world, but my Cancer sun says I want to stay at home while I do it, and my Leo moon means that secretly I want everyone to pay attention to me without looking at me. Ha! (I don’t actually put much weight in astrology, but it sure is fun!)
I’ll let you know what the book really says as soon as I read it. But what do you think? Are you an introvert? Do you think the world is becoming more friendly towards introverts?